Special Teams is the Eagles’ new mantra…and a look at the BriSuksEgg Fantasy Football draft…

It went down last night for the 3rd year in a row— the Fantasy Football Draft for the veteran members of the combined Bored here at Eagles Eye/ PE.com University… It's nice to see Democrats and Republicans reaching across the aisle in harmony (well, sort of!) and coming to some facsimile of unity in a "League of Nations", so to speak… Such is the growing legacy of the BRISUKSEGG Fantasy Football League.

That's the great thing about Fantasy Football. You may think it sucks, or you may think it's great…. but nearly all agree it brings good friends and acquaintances closer together.

Eagles football first—  I said it all along, but the real reason you are seeing guys making the team in place of others who may have (ahem) outplayed them in preseason is "Special Teams"…

 Chip Kelly spoke to the media yesterday and was very clear about how the decisions were made to get down to his final roster.

"There are three ways to make this football team," Kelly said. "Special teams, special teams, special teams."

The statement is in line with the attitude Kelly has put towards special teams since he arrived, making it a priority and preaching its importance on gameday.

"We have a head coach that is real passionate about special teams, and that's only going to make the players on the team more passionate," said special teams ace Colt Anderson.

Some of the decisions the Eagles made on their final 53-man roster have come under some scrutiny from fans, especially at the linebacker position. The Eagles currently only have three outside linebackers on the team, and decided to let go of Emmanuel Acho, their leading tackler this preseason.

"Any back-up spot we had on our team is all about the value of special teams and where are those guys going to play?," Kelly explained. "It's where they contribute from a special teams factor. If you're going to be the fourth or fifth receiver, and right now that's Damaris [Johnson] and Jeff [Maehl], and that is the value they have. It's the same thing. Why do we keep three inside linebackers as opposed to one back-up outside linebacker? It's how those three players contribute on special teams."

"As far as time wise, it is the same- but in that time, we are getting a lot more done," said Anderson. "We got guys that are passionate about it this year, guys that care a little bit more about special teams. It's a third of the game, and we're treating it like that."

It is with that in mind that Kelly said the decision to pick up Najee Goode from Tampa Bay was made. Goode might not have had as many tackles as Acho did this preseason, but Kelly implied that he felt Goode was a stronger special teams player.

"It's very important- any team that doesn't think so probably isn't going to be very successful," said wideout Jeff Maehl, who played special teams at Oregon under Kelly. "It's a third of the ballgame, and we have to be pretty good at it."

Kelly has put a huge emphasis on special teams since he arrived, dedicating nearly as much time to special team's practice as he has to offense and defense. Last season under Andy Reid, special team's practice happened almost exclusively at the end of the day— sometimes feeling more like a signal the day was over than a dedicated time to improve on a key part of the game.

Well, enough of that feel-good talk. Special Teams 2013, put your money where the Chippah's mouth is….

And regarding the Fantasy Football craze here at Eagles Eye—-

Fantasy football lets you try your skills as a fantasy owner. After you join a league, you scout for and draft players, compete against other fantasy owners, and use all your skills to win the championship.

Our guys here are definitely into it.

Here's a snapshot of what happens in a fantasy football season:

  1. You join a league…in this case, the BRISUKSEGG League…

    You can join a public league, where anyone can sign up for a spot, or a private league, like BRISUKSEGG, where you need an invitation to play. Some people play just for fun and some play for money (in some cases, serious coin). 

  2. You prepare for your league draft by scouting players. Before choosing your fantasy team, you need to research all the available players so you can pre-rank them according to your personal preference. Ideally you want to project their performance based upon the future trend, and not soley upon the past.

  3. You build your fantasy team via the draft. The draft is the most fun and exciting day of the fantasy season. During the draft, each fantasy owner selects a team Defense, and one NFL player at a time until the rosters are complete.

  1. Your team competes against another team every week.

    During the NFL season, the real teams face each other and so do the fantasy teams in your league. The players' real-time stats are converted into fantasy points by your league provider, and the fantasy team that scores the most points wins the game for the week.

  2. You make moves to improve your team.

    As a fantasy owner, you're in total control. You can drop players you think aren't good enough and replace them with free agents. If one of your starters gets injured, you can bench him and start a healthy player instead. You may even make a trade offer to another owner.

  1. Your team (hopefully) makes the playoffs and wins your league.

    Only the strong survive, and at the end of the fantasy season, the top teams square off in a playoff tournament to decide the league champion. The last team standing may win a trophy, a cash prize, or just honor; but make no mistake, there will be only one winner.

  2. In the BRISUKSEGG league, it's all about honor. And make no mistake, as much as guys like Jerky and Broz and ATV and JB-Sage-Lion and Boner and Palmy and PPW and Harry Pianos and Dutch Rubb and Spiffo and South Philly Ben all love each other as friends

    , and as much as they root for new guys like JHop to succeed, each is hoping to crush the other's team at every opportunity.

When draft day arrives, all the owners in a fantasy football league gather at a central location or log into the specified web service’s draft utility and meet virtually. The goal for each owner is to draft a team roster of 15 to 18 players.

How many players to draft at each position is up to you, but the traditional combination of players to draft: two quarterbacks, four running backs, four wide receivers, two tight ends, two kickers, and two defense/special teams (punt and kickoff return) units.

Each owner selects one player at a time. Generally, the online service randomly chooses the order or, if drafting offline, the commissioner draws numbers out of a hat to determine the draft order. The owners make their picks in order for the first round. Then they reverse this order for the second round.

For example, in an eight-person league, Owners 1 through 8 make the first eight selections in order, completing the first round. Then as the second round starts Owner 8 gets the ninth pick, Owner 7 gets the tenth pick, and so on down to Owner 1, who makes the sixteenth and seventeenth picks, and so on until all owners fill their rosters.

Each week, you enter a starting lineup made up of the following players: one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one defense/special teams (punt and kickoff return) unit.

You draft an entire team’s defense and special teams. If your team’s defense or special teams unit scores a touchdown, records a safety, or performs various defensive feats like an interception, a fumble recovery or records a sack, then you get points.

The remaining players are reserves. These players’ statistics don’t count while the players sit on your bench; instead, reserves serve as backups for your starting lineup. Here’s why reserves are important:

  • They replace poor-performing starters: If your quarterback, for example, plays poorly, you can replace him in your starting lineup the following week with your backup quarterback.

  • They replace injured starters: If your star running back breaks his leg (gasp!), you simply start your backup running back the following week.

  • They replace players on bye weeks: Each NFL team has one bye week. Because of bye weeks, you need to insert backup players for your starters whose teams aren’t playing that week.

  • It’s important to choose all your drafts carefully in fantasy football, including your reserves. Although reserve players’ statistics don’t count while the players sit on your reserve squad, they are important because they replace poor-performing starters, they replace injured starters, and they replace players on bye weeks.


Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.